My dream is to write for a magazine.

When I see myself in the future, I see an intelligent, conscientious young woman scribbling away, working on articles for national publication. One magazine in particular stands at the end of that road. National Geographic.

National Geographic is the Holy Grail, my light at the end of the tunnel, my pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, and whatever other metaphors you can think of. I enjoy other magazines but I LOVE this one. If I could have even one article published I think I would just about die of happiness. At the moment, however, I’m rather far from that point. I’m still in school, struggling through work and life, but I’ll get there one day.

When I was still in elementary school, I used to play this game called The Oregon Trail. It’s a fun little simulation where the player follows the path of the pioneers in a rickety old wagon. You start out in Independence, Missouri and cross the great plains, deserts and mountains in order to reach the promised land, Oregon’s Willamette Valley. Along the way, you experience breakdowns, sickness, drought, and death. If a permanent position with National Geographic is Willamette Valley, then I’m still stuck in Independence. As I gaze over the Great Plains, there, standing barely visible in the distance are the Rocky Mountains. There, these steadfast sentinels wait. I know I’ll have to traverse them someday, but first I have to gather my supplies and hope for good fortune for the days ahead.

It’s a long road, but every great journey begins with a single step as they say.